See how Bentley’s approach to education helps students like Steph Hall develop a roadmap to achieve their career and life goals.
As a high schooler, Stephanie Hall ’17 wasn’t sure what she wanted to study in college. One day it’d be education, another day accounting. When her mother told her she was good at arguing, she considered law.
When she started looking at schools, she knew she wanted a place that had an educational plan that offered both structure and flexibility.
“Some kids know growing up just what they want to be,” Steph says. “People work and train their whole young adult lives to prepare for a profession they have always dreamed of. Me? I was always changing my mind.”
On her first campus visit, Steph learned about Bentley’s Liberal Studies Major (LSM), which gave her the chance to add arts and sciences to a business degree. She was hooked.
“I had an interest in science, but knew I wanted the option to study business, too,” she says. “Once the tour guide mentioned health care, I knew Bentley had exactly what I was looking for.
“I liked that Bentley let me do business with a focus on the health care aspect of it, so I didn’t have to lock into either one. I saw it as a chance to open up more doors, with the flexibility to explore a bunch of different classes.”
Giving Students Resources to Succeed
Steph eventually settled on a major in Corporate Finance and Accounting with a Liberal Studies Major in Health and Industry. Once freshman year began, Bentley’s education with a plan became even more clear. Besides the traditional orientation, Steph was paired with a student mentor and faculty advisers through her First Year Seminar and her LSM, and she connected with professors with real-world experience in the health-care industry, giving her a team of role models throughout campus.
Bentley’s Career Services plan offers students a Career Development Introduction (CDI 101) to equip first-year students with a comprehensive career toolkit and the ability to understand and tell their story. The course is the first step in a four-year “Hire Education” program designed to support Bentley’s belief that competence, confidence, and community lead to meaningful careers and lives. Successful completion of the course is noted on students’ transcripts and serves as a prerequisite for a one-credit internship, CDI 102, allowing students to secure paid and unpaid internships requiring academic credit.
“A notable buzzword at Bentley is ‘resources,’” says Steph. “A big priority here is giving everyone mentors, whether that’s fellow students or faculty members. It’s something you really don’t see at other schools. You don’t see that kind of one-on-one interaction. Here, the process isn’t just philosophical. It’s hands-on, making sure you have everything to survive and succeed as a student.”
That kind of valuable relationship building is baked into the entire Bentley experience, Steph says. So, whether you’re networking at a career fair or helping run a student organization, you’re complementing your classroom work with the crucial soft skills employers look for.
“I think one the biggest thing about Bentley’s experience is being involved on campus, whether it’s doing activities with other students or interacting with professors. Every single opportunity or internship I had can be traced to talking to someone who thought it would be a good decision for me.”
Learning Context, Not Just Numbers
One of those opportunities turned out to be an especially good decision for Steph: An internship at athenahealth, the cloud-based health-care IT company, led to a fulltime job offer. Steph works there now, in financial planning and analysis.
“The experience has been super educational and the company is exactly what I could have asked for. I love it,” Steph says. “Some of the things I’m doing now with budgeting ties back to when I was president of Best Buddies, one of our campus organizations. I had to budget for events, estimate the number of attendees, present to campus decision makers, and adjust accordingly. It’s exactly what I’m doing for my job right now. I didn’t join the club specifically to do that, but it’s a valuable skill I learned along the way, all while having a lot of fun.”
“So many activities at Bentley required me to do presentations, or to speak to people, and to understand the hows and whys,” she adds. “You learn the context behind something like a budget, not just the numbers — and these skills are critical in the real world.”